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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

BROEKHUIS, KELLER & SCHONWALDER: Live @ Dorfkirche Repelen 2 (2008)

Updated: Mar 13, 2021

In the end, it's a very good album full of surprises and a lot of modern and creative Berlin School

CD 1 (73:52)

1 Lanes of the Lord (15:31)

2 Moers Part I (10:09)

3 Rock This! (8:45)

4 Source of Life (7:30)

5 Moers Part II (9:29)

6 Shiauliai (12:08)

7 esreveR oloS (10:19)

CD 2 (72:19)

1 Return to the Beginning (16:27)

2 Deeper Silence (13:48)

3 Klaus, Where Are You? (14:36)

4 Another Magic Moment (14:54)

5 Cut & Paste (9:06)

6 Raughi's Song (3:27)

(CD/DDL 145:11) (V.F.)

(Tribal New Berlin School)

After the successful Live @ Dorfkirche Repelen, Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder is doing it again with a double cd this time, merging concerts gave at the same place, but in 2007 and 2008. The first CD contains the performance of January 20th, 2008, whereas the 2nd one includes bits of 2006 and 2007 concerts. Always accompanied by Raughi Ebert on guitars and Thomas Kagermann on violins, the Berlin trio still offers minimalism electronic music which is enhanced by the predominance of the violins. A diversified music where the Berlin School is the first fruits to beautiful melodies which branch off in the vagaries of improvisation.

Kangerman's violin is the soul of Lanes of the Lord. The longest track of CD1 begins in a nebulous ambience stuffed of synths with eerie breaths which agonize among the stammering of electronic percussions. A suggestive bass line is twisting with percussions beneath unctuous breezes of synth pads. A minimalism melody pierces these misty pads on a more swaying bass, Tablas percussions and a desolate violin. Lanes of the Lord embraces then an Oriental structure with a jerky sequential approach, giving a hopping pace to a throbbing track where the violin makes drag its melody with a poetic heaviness. A fine sequence, à la Robert Schroëder opens Moers Part I, a little jewel of minimalism art which grows harmoniously beneath superb orchestral arrangements, floating synths with penetrating choirs which recall Klaus Schulze's universe. The rhythm starts pounding with a hopping sequential movement which is accompanied by an oneiric violin which stretches its laments among mellotron choirs and flutes. A track that lets all the place to Kagermann! Rock This! supports pretty well the meaning of its title with a hopping sequence girdled by a guitar with expressive solos. A curled sequence surrounds a rhythm which gets more powerful whereas the beat becomes straightforwardly more rock with good guitars solos from Raughi Ebert. Source of Life is a splendid ode to reverie. String instruments shape a heavy temporal waltz to which are adding a virtual choral and an acoustic guitar, accentuating even more repressed emotions. A track modeled on a good Mike Oldfield track, but to avoid if the soul is gloomy cause tears could easily surf on this splendid melody. Moers Part II continues this softly quest with a strange virtual mermaid which casts her voice in a slinky mellotron. Guitar notes embrace this quietude, like a minimalism cycle, whereas the rhythm rides a light crusade before being melted on a heavy pounding percussions which are caressed by a violin melting to fine synth solos. Strongly tinted by a Schulze influence, Shiauliai is hammered of overwhelming percussions pecked by a plaintive violin and composite tones. A track that is near cacophony, but at the same time quite ingenious with a musical approach influenced by the Middle East with its Tablas percussions and its dragging guitar licks. esreveR oloS seems to come out of nowhere with its musical structure near a Mexican fiesta thanks to its guitar play and synth trumpets which feast around a traditional folk violin.

A soft synth wave and a melancholic piano open Return to the Beginning. A weepy violin adds a poignant touch whereas the rhythm progresses in a procession style on nice orchestral arrangements where guitar, violin, sequences and percussions are melt in an indefinable but coherent rhythmic context. The movement is dark and heavy, pummeled by some guitar notes lost on a rhythm which is accentuating and pulsating soberly on an electronic march with this echo of elastic suction pads sounds. Still there the piano, violin, flute and guitar orchestrate some nice melodic parts on a minimalism and heavy track which drags its rhythmic energy near good percussions. Deeper Silence is a lifeless tragedy! A dark track with multiple synth layers floating in an intriguing nebulosity. It's a world where the silence is black with lugubrious choirs humming on arpeggios which shimmer softly in a universe without souls and life. Except towards the 10th minute when a heavy sequence whirls, without creating a rhythm, captive of heavy layers which smothers its desire of freedom. Klaus, Where Are You? is another good moment on LIVE @ DORFKIRCHE REPELEN 2 with its galloping sequences pecked by cold cymbals and girdled by good synths solos. This is good old Berlin School with a hybrid rhythm, beaten by sequences and percussions, whereas the violin spreads smoldering solos on a structure which evolves through good orchestral arrangements. This is some true Schulze … and good candy for Berlin School fans. Initiated by good guitar, Another Magic Moment progresses on percussions which hammer a light rhythm. The violin follows this cadence which permute in a universe of electronic jolts to follow a more frenetic tangent with good percussions and nervous sequences. A track that sounds like Rock This!, but guitar less. Cut & Paste is purely electronic with a sequence which rolls up an improvised structure on a nervous rhythm and heavy riffs, whereas Raughi's Song is of peace and quiet with a good acoustic guitar and a piano which are wrapped of a serene and melancholic synth layer.

There is lot of music on this LIVE @ DORFKIRCHE REPELEN! Beautiful music that reflects the passion of Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder for the Berlin School style, even if it's tied to some kind of Eastern tribal essences. If I have a downside it is for the preponderance of Kangermann's violins which stifle the subtleties of the synths. On the other hand, the minimalist aspect is superbly melodious and pretty well detailed. There are jewels on this double opus that we cannot ignore, so much the quality of the music is strongly guided by the Berlin School style. More than on Live @ Dorfkirche Repelen in any case. Titles which enchant and hypnotize, as much by their melodious approaches as by their progressive complexities. In the end, it's a very good album full of surprises and a lot of modern and creative Berlin School.

Sylvain Lupari (December 15th, 2008) *****

Available at Manikin Bandcamp

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